Facebook Expands Lookalike Targeting to International Markets

According to Facebook, over one-billion Facebook users are connected to at least one business in a foreign country. That is over half of the total number of Facebook users. Given this international activity, Facebook is exploring new ways to help marketers and businesses reach audiences in foreign markets.

Positioned as a way to “reach customers in new markets,” the company announced (via email) a new feature which allows the creation of International Lookalike audiences. Marketers can “use a list of current customers or prospects to find similar people abroad and identify new market opportunities.”

To further support this initiative, Facebook provided more statistics around the opportunity with engaging international audiences:


As an example, the company says a European company could import an existing customer list and then advertise to a Lookalike audience of people with similar behaviors and interests in other countries, regions or worldwide.

According to Facebook, the opportunity with International Lookalike audiences is the following:

  • Discover potential customers: Find customers similar to your source audience in other countries and target them with your ads.
  • Connect with the right people: Use Facebook to automatically find your future customers across the world, using targeting options to find customers in trade regions.
  • Power your international campaign: Enhance campaigns with the Facebook pixel and Facebook SDK to target people more likely to take action and better measure where demand is coming from.

This presents an interesting e-commerce opportunity for retailers looking to boost awareness and online sales in foreign markets. There’s also an opportunity for SMB product sellers to generate international revenue. In many ways this is yet another marketing tool and opportunity that blurs the definition of “local” in today’s digital landscape.

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